Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL free agent market has become silent in recent weeks.
No true notable UFAs have moved in a while, with teams sitting quite close to the cap, for the most part. There's still some quality talent available, so here's 10 of the best:
1. Nazem Kadri, C, 31
2021-22 cap hit: $4,500,000
All signs have seemingly pointed Kadri to the New York Islanders, but nothing has come from it yet. If he's going there, the team has a couple of moves still to make. If he's going elsewhere, that scenario is unlikely to change.
2. Phil Kessel, RW, 34
2021-22 cap hit: $8,000,000
Kessel quietly had a 52-point season, but the once-consistent 30-goal scorer only managed to score five at even strength this year. If he still wants to play, someone with the cap space will get some good secondary scoring. Maybe he signs a one-year deal and becomes a coveted deadline trade chip?
3. Evan Rodrigues, C, 28
2021-22 cap hit: $1,000,000
One of the best value players last year, Rodrigues had 43 points in 82 games, a career-best campaign after never breaking the 30-point barrier in his career. Sidney Crosby was the center he played with the most, though, and over half his goals came on the power play. Still, you can at least rely on him around the net, and he shouldn't be too expensive.
4. Paul Stastny, C, 36
2021-22 cap hit: $3,750,000
Stastny is still chugging along, even at 36. You have to wonder how much competitive hockey he has left, but the skilled center can still hold his own defensively and it was nice to see him hit 45 points this year, his best regular season total since 2015-16. It's his age that's concerning.
5. Sonny Milano, LW, 26
2021-22 cap hit: $1,700,000
He'll forever be remembered as the guy that capitalized on the Zegras over-the-net passing play. He had a good season and clearly has a ton of skill, so it'll be interesting to see his value.
6. P.K. Subban, D, 33
2021-22 cap hit: $9,000,000
Subban might not be the player he once was, but he can still bring good value at the right price. Expect a one-year "prove it" deal for Subban.
7. Sam Steel, LW, 24
2021-22 cap hit: $874,000
Steel couldn't convert an incredible junior career into NHL success, scoring a career-high 22 points over four seasons with the Ducks. He's still young, and the skill is clearly there; it might be worth taking a chance here.
8. Sam Gagner, C. 32
2021-22 cap hit: $850,000
Gagner is a known quantity around these parts — inexpensive depth help that can score and does anything asked of him. Can't imagine he'll stay unsigned for too much longer.
9. Anton Stralman, D, 35
2021-22 cap hit: $5,500,000
Stralman's cap hit didn't look that pretty last season, but he still managed over 21 minutes a night on a bad Coyotes team. He likely won't do that on a contender, but he can still be decent help somewhere.
10. Tyler Ennis, C, 32
2021-22 cap hit: $900,000
Ennis hasn't played in at least 70 games since 2017-18 and has only done it three times in the past decade. Still, as a mobile, quick-moving forward, Ennis still brings value to teams in need of scoring deep down in the lineup, even if it's not every night.
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NHL Free Agency: Top 10 UFAs Midway Through August – The Hockey News
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports